Kansas City, Mo., business owners question making the jump to Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Is it time to leave Kansas City?

It is a question more and more business owners are answering with a "yes."

A group of business leaders, community activists and libertarian group the Show Me Institute gathered to address the issue on Tuesday.

Those on the panel said Kansas' new massive income tax cuts are motivating more business owners to question whether they should pick up and leave Missouri for Kansas.

Business owner Kim Weinberger, who has businesses on both sides of the state line, said she is curious how much further her income will now stretch from her Lawrence gallery versus her gallery in the downtown Kansas City Crossroads District.

This is the first year Kansas' big income tax cuts kick in, reductions primarily for small business owners' personal income.

In Kansas, Weinberger will also not have to pay any taxes on income her business makes, a big tax advantage over her Missouri side gallery.

If that means she has more money at the end of the year, "I'd expand my employee base," Weinberger said.

But the Downtown Council, who oversees downtown business, said Kansas City's tech and entrepreneurial business is booming.

In the last six years, business has soared by 445 percent, thanks in part to the Sprint Center, Power and Light district and the Kauffman Center.

They note the growth has come without help from the Missouri legislators. This past session, lawmakers failed to override the Governor's veto on corporate tax cuts.

Governor Jay Nixon said it is important that money continues to go to education and social services.

Last time Kansas City taxpayers were asked to pass its earnings tax on wage earners living in the city, voters passed it overwhelmingly.

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